Compton Wrongful Death AttorneyMcLachlan Law2023-09-01T16:52:17+00:00
Compton Wrongful Death Attorney
Compton Wrongful Death Lawyer
The term “wrongful death” applies to any fatal incident caused by negligence or illegal action. When one party injures another in California, state law allows the victim to pursue a personal injury claim, seeking recompense for the losses they suffered. However, if they do not survive the event, their family would have the option of filing a wrongful death claim in lieu of the personal injury claim they are no longer able to file.
Compassionate Wrongful Death Counsel in Compton, CA
In many ways, a wrongful death claim effectively replaces the personal injury claim that the victim could have filed if they had survived. However, there are many important differences between personal injury cases and wrongful death suits that you must understand if you intend to pursue this type of civil suit on behalf of a lost loved one.
The attorneys at McLachlan Law, APC, have extensive professional experience handling a wide range of difficult wrongful death suits on behalf of clients in Compton and surrounding communities. We know the many legal challenges you are likely to encounter as you seek accountability for your loved one’s unexpected death and recompense for the final effects of the death on your family. You have a limited time in which to build your case, and our team is ready to guide you through these difficult proceedings with confidence.
Most Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths
A wrongful death case can arise from any situation that would typically generate a personal injury suit, but the victim does not survive their injury. Many of the same commonly cited causes of personal injuries also cause wrongful deaths, such as:
Motor vehicle accidents. By far one of the most common causes of accidental deaths in the country, motor vehicle crashes can easily generate very complex legal issues for all parties involved. When you have lost a loved one in a vehicle accident caused by another driver, you will have the right to claim against their auto insurance, and success with this claim may yield valuable compensation that helps your family recover. However, insurance alone cannot provide full compensation for all the damages claimable in a wrongful death suit, so you will need a Compton wrongful death attorney’s assistance to hold the at-fault driver fully accountable.
Premises liability. All property owners have a duty of care to ensure their properties are safe for lawful visitors. This means that when a property owner notices any element of their property that could potentially be hazardous, they are required to fix the problem, post a visible warning sign, or provide lawful visitors with clear verbal warnings of the danger. Failure to address any foreseeable safety issue could potentially lead to a fatal injury, and the property owner would be liable for wrongful death under California’s premises liability statutes.
Illegal misconduct. While most wrongful deaths occur from negligence, it is also possible for illegal action to result in fatal injury. In this situation, the at-fault party faces criminal prosecution from the state for causing the death, and the manner in which they caused it will determine the severity of their charges and sentence. Separately, the family of the victim will have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim, seeking accountability for the damages the family suffered due to the defendant’s actions. If any form of illegal misconduct caused the death of a family member, your Compton wrongful death attorney can advise you as to how this will influence your family’s recovery efforts.
Ultimately, wrongful deaths can occur in many ways, and these are only a few of the most commonly reported causes in Compton, CA. If any other party is directly responsible for a family member’s death, this can form the foundation of a wrongful death suit. An experienced Compton wrongful death attorney can help you ensure you meet the requirements to file this type of case and guide you through the process.
Building Your Wrongful Death Claim in Compton
State law restricts eligibility to file a wrongful death suit to the direct beneficiaries of the deceased. The surviving spouse of the deceased is generally first in line to be able to start a wrongful death claim, followed by any surviving children old enough to pursue the claim. Next, the right to sue for a wrongful death would be the victim’s parents, followed by other relatives, and then by anyone who has a lawful claim on the contents of the deceased’s estate. If the deceased had an estate plan in which they named a personal representative, this individual would have the primary right to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.
Success with any wrongful death claim requires proof that the defendant directly caused the death in question through an overtly illegal act, an act of negligence, an omission, or medical malpractice. The evidence you will require to prove fault for a wrongful death will vary based on how the death occurred, and an experienced attorney will be invaluable for the help they can provide in gathering this evidence.
In the event your loved one dies because of an illegal act, the defendant responsible for the death will likely face criminal charges from the state alongside the wrongful death suit you file in civil court. The standard of proof in a wrongful death suit is a “preponderance of the evidence,” whereas in criminal court, a defendant must be proven guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
It’s important to know that while you may succeed in proving the defendant responsible for your loved one’s death in civil court, a preponderance of the evidence is a lower standard of proof than guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, so it is possible the defendant could avoid conviction in their criminal trial. Your Compton wrongful death attorney can help you understand what to expect in terms of how the criminal case against the defendant may influence your civil claim.
Why Do I Need a Compton Wrongful Death Attorney?
It is technically possible for you to file a wrongful death claim without hiring legal counsel, but success would be unlikely even if you think your case is straightforward. Filing any civil claim requires meeting very strict procedural rules and filing deadlines with the court, and any errors or omissions can have disastrous effects on your case’s outcome. Additionally, the loss of your loved one will be an emotionally draining experience, and confronting complex legal statutes while struggling with your grief would be extremely difficult.
When you have a Compton wrongful death attorney you can trust advising you, you are not only more likely to succeed with a wrongful death suit but also more likely to secure the maximum compensation possible for your family’s losses. Your attorney can streamline your case substantially and prepare you for each new phase of your proceedings. When it comes to claiming compensation from the defendant, they are likely able to identify various forms of compensation that you may have been unaware you could claim.
Claiming Compensation in a Wrongful Death Suit
While the goal of a personal injury claim is for the victim to recover recompense for the damages the defendant caused, the objective of a wrongful death suit is for the plaintiff to hold the defendant accountable for the surviving family’s losses. A good attorney will help their client secure various forms of compensation, including:
Lost financial support. If the deceased worked and earned income for their family, it is possible for the family to seek recompense for the financial support they can no longer provide. Your Compton wrongful death attorney will help you calculate the future income the deceased would have foreseeably been able to earn and add this as damages in your wrongful death suit.
Funeral and burial expenses.
Lost value of household services. The loss of a family member could impose various economic problems on the surviving family. For example, if the deceased had young children, their other parent may now need to pay for childcare and other household expenses that the deceased previously covered. Your attorney can help you calculate these losses and add them to your claim.
Lost affection and consortium. The surviving spouse or partner of the deceased has the right to seek recompense for their own pain and suffering and the loss of the personal companionship the deceased provided.
Loss of parental companionship, care, and guidance. A wrongful death suit can also generate recompense for the pain and suffering experienced by the deceased’s children.
Damages to the deceased’s estate. If the deceased’s death was not immediate, their estate may have incurred losses such as medical bills for the treatment of the victim’s final injury or illness, lost wages, and property damage. These damages can be included in a survival action filed alongside a wrongful death suit.
The pain and suffering of the deceased. California law now allows the plaintiff in a wrongful death claim to seek recompense for the pain and suffering the deceased experienced from the fatal incident in question up until the time of their death.
With the right Compton wrongful death attorney handling your case, it is possible that you could recover much more compensation than you may have initially expected. You must file your claim within two years of the death in question; otherwise, you would lose the right to claim compensation from the defendant. Alternatively, if the cause of death is not immediately determinable, the discovery rule would apply, and the statute of limitations would begin on the date you discovered the cause of death.
The statute of limitations for your case may seem generous, but remember that it will take time to gather all of the documentation and other materials needed to file the claim successfully. It is always preferable to start the claim filing process as soon as possible, so you should reach out to an experienced Compton wrongful death attorney at your earliest opportunity when you suspect another party is directly responsible for your loved one’s death.
Resolving Your Wrongful Death Claim
The majority of the civil claims for damages filed in Compton and throughout the state do not go to trial and are instead resolved through private settlement negotiations. When the defendant is clearly liable for the damages cited in a case, it behooves them to seek a swift settlement with the plaintiff to minimize their legal expenses. As long as the parties can reach a mutually acceptable conclusion to their case, it is possible to settle a wrongful death claim in a fraction of the time that litigation would require to complete.
Unfortunately, settlement is not always a viable option for every civil case in Compton. If, for any reason, you cannot settle a wrongful death claim, the case must be brought before a judge. Litigation can take much longer than settlement negotiations, and the judge will have the final say on the outcome of the case. Your Compton wrongful death attorney will be an invaluable asset regardless of whether you can settle the claim privately or if you must prepare for litigation.
What to Expect From Your Wrongful Death Attorney
Losing a family member unexpectedly is never easy, but knowing the death resulted from another party’s negligence can make the situation even more difficult to handle. The attorneys at McLachlan Law, APC, have years of professional experience helping clients navigate all types of civil claims, including wrongful death suits arising from many different situations. We know how to gather the evidence you will need to establish liability for your damages, and we know the various challenges you might face as your claim unfolds.
When you choose our firm to represent your wrongful death suit in Compton, you will have a compassionate and communicative legal advocate readily available to address your concerns and answer any questions you have throughout your proceedings. Our goal for every client is maximum recovery in the shortest possible time frame, and we will do everything we can to streamline the proceedings ahead of you. Contact McLachlan Law, APC, today to schedule your consultation with a Compton wrongful death attorney and learn how our team can assist your family through this difficult time.
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